Minivan; Built in South Korea
  • 4-door van
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $2,100 – $6,200*

2002 Kia Sedona EX

2002 Kia Sedona EX

2002 Kia Sedona interior

2004 Kia Sedona EX

2004 Kia Sedona EX

  • Cargo room
  • Instruments/controls
  • Interior storage space
  • Passenger room
  • Acceleration
  • Fuel economy
  • Steering/handling

Korean automakers stake their fortunes on delivering more features per dollar than class competitors. On that basis, Sedonas trump all rivals. Kia says its comprehensive warranty is the number one reason buyers purchase its vehicles new. However, Kia’s customer satisfaction ratings and resale values have been low–which might make the Sedona a good buy secondhand.


Kia joined the minivan race for the 2002 model year. Built in South Korea, the new Sedona had a standard V6 engine and seven-passenger seating. All Sedonas were the same body length, which was comparable to a Toyota Sienna and roughly 2 inches longer than a regular-size Dodge Caravan.

Base LX and uplevel EX models were offered. Both used a 195-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 teamed with a five-speed automatic transmission. Dual sliding rear side doors were standard, but power doors and side airbags were unavailable. Antilock braking was optional.

The LX’s second-row seat was a bench, while the EX contained buckets. Extra equipment on the EX also included heated mirrors, fog lamps, keyless entry, and alloy wheels. A sunroof and leather upholstery were optional only for the EX model.

Rivals for this front-drive minivan included the Chevrolet Venture, Dodge Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Mazda MPV, and Toyota Sienna. Kia was owned by Hyundai, and duplicated Hyundai’s warranty: 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper, 10/100,000 powertrain, and 5-year/unlimited roadside assistance.

Yearly Updates

2003 Sedona
This South Korean automaker’s minivan returned for its second season with minimal changes. For 2003, the LX gained a standard AM/FM/CD player, central door-lock button, and remote fuel-door release. EX models added additional stereo speakers, and a second remote for the keyless entry. All minivans got new taillights.
2004 Sedona
A new grille went on both versions of Kia’s minivan this year. The base LX model gained a center tray table that had previously been optional.
2005 Sedona
The Sedona is unchanged this year.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

All Sedonas used a 3.5-liter, dual-overhead-cam V6 engine rated at 195 horsepower, coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/213
Engine HP 195
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 218
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic



Road Test

A Sedona has adequate power in gentle driving, but it’s among the heaviest minivans on the market. Therefore, heavy throttle application is needed for scooting from a stop, passing, or catching up with highway traffic when loaded with passengers. An EX accelerated from 0-60 mph in 10.5 seconds, which falls short of the minivan norm.

Fuel economy is no bonus: An extended-use EX averaged 17.5 mpg in mostly highway driving. Other EX models averaged 15.6 mpg in a more even mix of city/highway travel. One managed just 13.2 mpg including mostly city driving and 0-60 mph acceleration runs. Kia recommends regular-grade gasoline.

Sharp bumps, tar strips, and pavement cracks register through the steering wheel, seats, and structure, but they seldom induce jolting. Wavy surfaces trigger some float and wallow.

Handling is marred by a slow, rubbery steering feel. Even leisurely changes of direction induce noticeable body lean. Excess weight and soft tires cause the nose to plow as cornering speeds increase. Stopping power is adequate, but some test models have suffered poor brake-pedal feel, with or without ABS.

Sedonas could be quieter, too. Tires sing on coarse surfaces, and the engine intrudes under even moderate throttle. One test model suffered considerable wind rush from around the tops of the front doors at highway speed, but others had acceptable wind-noise suppression.

Simple, clear instrumentation is satisfying. Controls are generously sized, plainly marked, and easily reached. The gearshift lever sprouts from the lower center of the dashboard, leaving controls unobstructed and allowing passage between front seats. The gear-position readout is thoughtfully repeated near the speedometer.

All told, the Sedona has a pleasant, contemporary interior ambience. Some lightweight-plastic controls are used, but assembly quality and most materials are competitive with those of like-priced minivans. Annoying rattles from second- and third-row seats were noticed on one new model tested.

Front seats are roomy and supportive. Driver positioning is good, and the EX has a standard power passenger seat. Both front seats have fold-down center armrests. Windshield wiper de-icers and rear wiper/washer have been standard, but aft visibility is impeded by headrests.

Rear seating is comparable to rivals, though second-row bucket seats don’t tilt, greatly complicating third-row entry/exit. Second-row seats slide fore/aft to fine-tune leg room for both rear rows. Outboard seating positions have ceiling air vents, and the second row gets separate air-conditioning control. The EX has power-opening rear quarter windows, and gives third-row passengers their own control buttons.

Cargo space is slim behind the third seat: a split 50/50 bench that flip/folds for more space. Second and third rows remove, but the lightest sections weigh over 60 pounds and are cumbersome to handle.

Small-item storage is excellent in both models, with multiple cupholders, covered felt-lined dash-top bin, a two-level glovebox, slide-out locking front passenger-seat tray, and front overhead compartment. A cupholder/storage tray between the front seats folds to allow pass-through.


Model Tested: 2002 Kia Sedona EX

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 3
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 3
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 8
Room/Comfort Front - 8
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
Cargo Room - 9


Value - 7

Total: 61


4-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
114.6 194.1 74.6 69.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
127.5 19.8 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.4 39.2 40.6 37.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Cold-starting problems
Description: The engine may hesitate and stumble when cold requiring reprogramming the ECM. (2002)
Engine fan
Description: The original electric cooling fan was noisy and may be replaced with a fan having different style blades. (2002)
Description: The battery may discharge (be drained) while the engine is running at slow speeds with the A/C running during hot weather requiring a revised alternator, a battery heat shield and reprogramming of the ECM. (2002-03)
Description: Windshield may crack in cold weather. (2002-03)

Recall History

Description: Faulty second- and third-row seat components could cause them to break apart in a crash. Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts. Dealers will replace second and third-row seatbelt buckle anchor bolts because they may break in a crash.
Description: During assembly, throttle cable might have twisted out of position; cable hang-up could result in crash.
2002-04 EX w/power seats
Description: Misrouted wiring under front seats could contact metal components, eventually resulting in short-circuit and possible fire.
Description: The brakes may not function properly at speeds below 25 mph due to a programming error in the antilock brake system. Dealer will reprogram the system.
2003-05 w/alloy wheels
Description: Moisture may accumulate around rear hubcaps, causing damage to outer wheel bearing that could result in bearing failure without warning.
Description: On some minivans, freezing conditions can cause water on throttle cable to freeze during normal operation; cable could stick, preventing engine from returning to idle.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.